The Conservatorium, Amsterdam
Where it’s at
Right in the heart of Museumplein, opposite the refurbed Rijksmuseum, down the road from the Van Gogh Musuem and around the corner from PC Hooftstraat, the city’s most exclusive shopping street.
A design for life
Old-bank-meets-design-hotel. A tour of this grand getaway revealed original 100-year-old tiles and flooring alongside futuristic additions, like the soaring glass-roof atrium.
Room for romance
There will be 129 rooms and suites, but when Y&YW visited last month only 35 were actually complete. Our cream suite with mezzanine bedroom and two-storey windows with bewitching city views was stunning and HUGE. We found the lighting control panel hard to master, but other gizmos, such as the TV in the bathroom mirror and super-slick coffee machine were cool rather than confusing.
Eat & drink
Locals as well as tourists use the main brasserie and lounge, which ensures it has a buzzy atmosphere morning ‘til night. We picked at naughty-but-very-nice pastries and sipped juiced-to-order veg and fruit smoothies at breakfast. At night, Tunes Restaurant has show kitchens, where you can dine on seasonal dishes or alternatively you can pick at tapas in the packed Tunes, the hotel’s low-lit bar with room-for-two booths to cuddle up in.
After a day sightseeing in the city, a dip in the Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Center is most welcome. There’s also a hammam and pilates, yoga and tai chi on offer. A cigar room with a baby grand piano humidor (the piano still plays!) is a chic and unusual addition. And The Conservatorium has four hosts, rather than butlers or a concierge, who will contact you prior to your stay to find out if you need anything arranging, such as theatre tickets or a canal tour. Y&YW’s host was the charismatic Peter, who we were tempted to put in our suitcase and bring home as he was so organised and helpful.
Out on the town
Hire bikes and pedal around the streets together, stroll hand-in-hand through the flower market and take a river cruise. The nearby Van Gogh Museum (vangoghmuseum.nl) currently has the Beauty in abundance exhibition, showing highlights of the Dutch master’s print collection until September 23 2012, which is well worth seeing.
Rooms from €325 per night (conservatoriumhotel.com). Return travel with Eurostar from £99 (eurostar.com)